3 vegetable side dishes to make this winter

    Arguably one of the best parts about the cold winter months are the side dishes, especially the roasted vegetables. All three of these dishes are quintessential winter sides that scream lit fireplaces and cozy blankets. Sometimes, these winter dishes can feel heavy and a little bit too indulgent. To mitigate that post-dinner bloat, these side dishes all have a fresh herb and citrus topping and lighten them up. The Brussel sprouts get a fresh flare with loads of parsley, the sweet potatoes get a bright citrus flavor from orange zest, and the pungent garlic miso cauliflower get an herb and fruity topping with a sprinkling of sweet pomegranates seeds, fresh parsley, and a big old squeeze of a lemon.

    Shallot and Garlic Smashed Brussel Sprouts

    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    It wouldn’t be a winter side dish article without a Brussel sprout recipe. While it’s always Brussel sprout season somewhere, Brussel sprouts are in peak harvest from September to March. So there’s still time to grab a stalk of Brussel sprouts and get cooking!

    This recipe takes the same cooking method of the beloved smashed potato and applies to a Brussel sprout. In addition, while this recipe is a bit more time intensive, it is a labor of love with a worthwhile outcome. Aside from taking the time to boil, smash, and roast our Brussel sprouts, we are also sautéing shallots and garlic.

    Ingredients:

    • 32 oz, 2 lbs, Brussel sprouts
    • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
    • 8 large garlic cloves, smashed into fourths
    • ¼ cup avocado oil
    • 2 tbsp mustard
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • ½ tsp salt, plus more to season your boiling water
    • ¼ cup chopped pistachios, optional
    • Fresh parsley, for garnish
    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    Directions:

    1. Start off by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, season your water with at least one teaspoon of salt, this will help season the Brussel sprouts from within! When the water has returned to a boil, add your Brussel sprouts to the pot and let them boil for around 10 minutes.
    2. After they are done cooking, strain and pat dry your Brussel sprouts. Using the palm of your hand, gently press down on each Brussel sprout until they have slightly flattened. You may want to let the Brussel sprouts cool down for a few minutes before smashing them. Coat the Brussel sprouts with the oil, mustard, honey, and ½ tsp salt. Spread them out evenly on a sheet pan, you’ll probably need to use two pans. Roast at 450F for around 18 minutes, or until crispy and slightly charred on the outside.
    3. While your Brussel sprouts are roasting, sauté the shallots on medium-low heat in a shallow pan with a little bit of oil and salt. Once the shallots have softened and browned, remove from the pan and add in the garlic, and some additional oil and salt. Cook the garlic on low until soft and fragrant. Once everything has finished cooking, assemble the dish by adding in your Brussel sprouts, shallots, garlic, and topping it off with some non negotiable parsley and optional pistachios.

    Garlic Miso Cauliflower

    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    An unexpected twist on a favorite, garlic miso cauliflower is the dish to serve at your next dinner party. The pomegranate seeds, parsley, and fresh lemon juice add a refreshing topping to cut through the strong garlic and miso flavor.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 head of cauliflower
    • 1 head of garlic
    • 3 tbsp avocado oil, plus 1 additional tbsp
    • ½ tbsp honey
    • ½ tbsp miso paste
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • Pepper to taste
    • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
    • Fresh parsley, for garnish
    • Fresh lemon juice
    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    Directions:

    1. Start by cutting off the top of the garlic head to expose all of the cloves. Drizzle on a drop of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap the seasoned garlic head in aluminum foil and roast at 400F for about 45 minutes.
    2. While the garlic is cooking, prepare the cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into florets, drizzle on 1 tbsp oil, salt, and pepper, toss to coat, and roast at 400F for around 35 minutes.
    3. Once the garlic has finished cooking, prepare the sauce. Squeeze the garlic into a small bowl. Add in the miso, honey, and oil and mix to combine, making sure to get rid of any lumps from the garlic. Once the cauliflower is done cooking, add the garlic miso sauce to the cauliflower. Roast on broil for another five minutes, being careful not to burn the cauliflower. Top your cauliflower with some pomegranate seeds, parsley, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Scallion Orange Zest Drizzle  

    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

     

    Sweet potatoes always have, and always will be a winter staple, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spice them up! Top off your sweet potatoes with a bright orange zest and scallion sauce, mint leaves, and some parsley.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 large sweet potatoes
    • ¼ cup, plus 2 tbsp avocado oil
    • ½ tsp salt, plus ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • ¼ tsp cardamom
    • ¼ tsp coriander
    • Juice of one lemon
    • Orange zest from one large orange
    • 3 scallions, chopped
    • Mint and parsley for garnish
    Photo: Jenny Lieberman

    Directions:

    1. Cut the sweet potatoes into about 1 inch chunks. Top with 2 tbsp avocado oil, ½ tsp salt, paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander. Toss to coat and roast at 425F for about 45 minutes. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside is what we are going for.
    2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the scallion sauce. To a cold saucepan, add the ¼ cup avocado oil and set to medium heat. Once the oil is hot and looks like it will start to smoke, add in your scallions. You should hear a nice sizzle after adding the scallions to the pot. Allow the scallions to cook in the oil until they turn a dark green and start to crisp up. Move the contents of the hot pot to a small bowl. Add in the grated orange zest, salt, and juice of one lemon, mixing together to combine.
    3. Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking, place onto a serving dish and top with the scallion and orange zest sauce. Sprinkle some mint and parsley on top.
    Jenny Lieberman is a recipe developer, certified group fitness instructor, and recent high school graduate from Boca Raton, FL. She loves all things health and wellness, so you will probably find her looking up the newest food and fitness trends. She is currently on a gap year program at Midreshet Torah v’Avodah (MTVA) in Jerusalem, Israel. Jenny will be attending the University of Maryland, College Park, starting Fall 2021. You can follow Jenny on her Instagram healthy food account (@toomuchonmyplate_) to see more of her recipes!